In 2002-03, BYU earned its fourth straight postseason berth and claimed a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title and an NCAA bid for the second time in the last three years. Playing among the nation's toughest schedules, including 11 different conferences on its non-league slate, the Cougars finished the year with a 23-9 overall record, going 11-4 through the pre-conference schedule before earning a share of the MWC regular season title with Utah at 11-3. The Cougars went 1-1 at the MWC Tournament before losing to No. 5-seed Connecticut at the NCAA Tournament in Spokane, Wash.
BYU Coach Steve Cleveland was named the MWC Coach of the Year. Only eight BYU teams in 101 years have ever achieved more wins in a season. The Cougars had the MWC's top defense and also won the preseason Paradise Jam title in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
BYU was led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo. Hansen, one of two first-team All-MWC consensus players, led the team in scoring (16.8) and blocks (20) and was second in assists (2.4) and rebounds (4.8). Bigelow, a third-team All-MWC selection, was second in scoring (13.9), third in rebounding (3.7) and the team's top three-point shooter (63). Araujo, a third-team All-MWC pick, was the third-leading scorer (12.0) and top rebounder (8.9).
Sophomore forward Jared Jensen, who received All-MWC honorable mention, added 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while JC transfer Kevin Woodberry averaged 6.3 points and 2.5 assists. Coach Steve Cleveland had more talent on the bench in 2002-03 than in past seasons. Though he was slowed by a back injury, Wisconsin transfer junior guard Ricky Bower led the reserves, averaging 5.2 points while shooting 43.9 percent from behind the arc.
The Cougars shot .463 from the floor, .375 on threes and an MWC-best .755 from the line. BYU topped the MWC on defense, allowing .406 field goal shooting and .308 three-point shooting. BYU scored 71.8 ppg while allowing 63.5. BYU went 13-1 at home and 10-8 away, including a 4-3 neutral record and 6-5 road mark. Cleveland used five starting lineups.
-- BYU earned a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title with Utah at 11-3. It was the second time in the last three years the Cougars have shared the regular season title. BYU last earned a piece of the conference regular season title in 2001 when there was a three-way tie at 10-4 with Wyoming and Utah. BYU went on to win the MWC Tournament that year and was the lone MWC team to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
-- In BYU's 101st year of basketball, the Cougars now have claimed 26 conference championships.
-- Since the beginning of February, BYU won 10 of its 14 games. The Cougars won five straight before dropping its last two games to end the year.
-- BYU had a winning record on the road and on a neutral floor in 2002-03, including wins at Arizona State, Wyoming, Colorado State and San Diego State. BYU won the Paradise Jam title with wins over Toledo, Kansas State and St. Bonaventure.
-- At 23-9, BYU achieved its third 20-win season in the last four years. Only eight BYU teams have ever achieved more victories. The BYU record for wins is 28 (9 losses) in 1951 when the Cougars won the national title as NIT champs. The 2002-03 season was Cleveland's third 20-win season in the last four years. The only BYU coaches to have more 20-win seasons are Stan Watts (7) and Roger Reid (6). Cleveland joins Frank Arnold and Ladell Andersen with three 20-win seasons.
-- BYU has traditionally finished strong under Steve Cleveland. BYU is 18-10 in March under Steve Cleveland, including a 5-2 record in March 2003.
-- BYU finished the season with a 7-2 record against teams that were conference champions last year. BYU went 12-6 against teams that qualified for postseason play last season.
-- BYU swept five MWC opponents this year. Its three league losses came at UNLV and to Utah (twice).
-- BYU's 22,702 attendance vs. CSU in its last home game was the largest crowd since 1992 and the 21st largest crowd in school history. BYU averaged 14,468 this year in its 14 home games.
-- BYU finished the season 13-1 at home. Lone senior Travis Hansen concluded his three seasons as a Cougar having lost only once at home. BYU earned a 44-1 record in Hansen's three years at BYU -- the best three-year home record in school history. The second-best home record over three years was a 39-2 mark from 1979-81 in Danny Ainge's final three seasons.
-- With its 91-81 win at New Mexico, BYU scored the most points on an opponent's homecourt since defeating Air Force 94-82 in 1994. Five Cougars reached double figures for the fist time since December 2000.
-- Mark Bigelow became BYU's all-time three-point leader during the year while becoming the 34th Cougar and only ninth junior to score 1,000 points. He finished the year 15th on the all-time scoring list. Travis Hansen later became the 35th Cougar to reach 1,000 points adn finished his final season 24th on BYU's career scoring list.
-- Senior Travis Hansen received numerous awards, including being one of two consensus All-MWC First Team selections along with UNM's Ruben Douglas, who led the nation in scoring in 2002-03.
UCONN DEFEATS BYU; HANSEN NAMED CBS PLAYER OF THE GAME
SPOKANE -- BYU's upset hopes fell short as the Cougars lost to the UConn Huskies, 58-53, in the first round of the 2003 NCAA tournament. BYU suffered its worst offensive output of the year, making just 31.3 percent of its shots from the field and 11.8 percent on threes. The Cougars scored a season-low 53 points but managed to slow the game down to control the Huskies, entering the half tied at 26-26. UConn exploded out of the locker room in the second half as the Cougars appeared flat. The Huskies went on a 14-2 run out of the gate. Ben Gordon completed a three-point play and then drained a three the next trip down to extend the Huskies lead to 46-32 with 11:30 left. Following a timeout, BYU settled down and turned up the defensive pressure, battling on the boards. "We really competed well and hung in there. Defensively we did a great job securing the rebounds," said BYU Associate Head Coach Dave Rose. "We knew that we needed to do that to control their transition game." The Cougars earned better looks at the basket and went on a 7-point run of their own, cutting the lead to 46-39 with 9:25 left. Tough Cougar defense held the huskies scoreless for a stretch of over seven minutes that enabled BYU to cut the lead to five on a steal by Kevin Woodberry and his layup at the other end. Woodberry then pulled up in transition and nailed a three to trim the lead to just two points with 2:20 to play in the game. Following a steal by Hansen of UConn's Gordon, BYU looked inside to Araujo who was blocked by Okafor and the ball was saved by the Huskies. That was the Cougars last chance as UConn made free throws to finish off BYU and the Cougars' hopes of busting brackets all across the country. BYU matched the rebound effort of UConn; each team grabbing 41 boards. The Cougars turned in its worst shooting from behind the arc all season on just 2-of-17. "We felt like we had a good chance and we played hard, but UConn is a very good team and they play very emotional basketball," Rose said. The Huskies struggled at times on offense due to great defensive pressure by BYU. The Cougars held UConn to 32.7 percent shooting for the game. Okafor was a great presence for the Huskies inside, swatting shots and changing others. The big man finished the game with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks. Gordon finished the game with 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Hansen, as he has done all season for BYU, played excellent defense to hold Gordon five points below his average. Hansen was the leading scoring for either team with 21 points and six rebounds. Mark Bigelow, playing for the first time in his home state since his freshman year, scored 12 points on just 4-of-15 shooting, including 1-for-7 behind the arc. Jake Shoff played tough defensive minutes before fouling out with six points, while Rafael Araujo was just 2-of-12 from the floor and totaled six points and eight rebounds.
BYU NCAA NOTABLES
-- BYU appeared in its 20th NCAA Tournament with its at-large invite in 2003. The Cougars have an 11-23 record in NCAA Tournament games. Their prior appearance in the NCAA Tournament was in 2001. BYU is 7-13 in its opening round games in NCAA Tournament play. BYU coach Steve Cleveland has guided the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament twice in his six years at the helm since taking over a program that was 1-25 the season before his arrival. He has led BYU to postseason play in each of the last four years.
-- BYU has lost in the first round in its last three NCAA appearances. BYU's last NCAA win was in 1993 as a No. 7 seed in Chicago when the Cougars defeated SMU, 80-71. BYU lost to No. 2-seed Kansas, 90-76, in the second round that year. The last time BYU advanced out of the second round was in 1981 when the Cougars (as a No. 6 seed), defeated Princton, 60-51 before upsetting No. 3-seed UCLA 78-55. BYU went on to defeat Notre Dame on Danny Ainge's last-second, length-of-the-court dash, 51-50, to advance to the Regional Finals before losing to Ralph Sampson and No. 1-seed Virginia, 74-60.
-- In 2002-03, BYU played 12 games against eight teams that earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. BYU had a 5-7 record in those games (UConn 0-1, Arizona State 1-0, San Diego 1-0, Utah State 1-0, Colorado State 2-1, Weber State 0-1, Creighton 0-1, Oklahoma State 0-1, Utah 0-2).
-- Seven of BYU's nine losses in 2002-03 came against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. UNLV and San Francisco were the two teams to beat BYU that didn't advance to the NCAA tournament.
BYU EARNED SHARE OF MWC CROWN ON NIGHT AINGE WAS HONORED
PROVO -- The largest Marriott Center crowd in 11 years (22,702) honored BYU hall-of-famer Danny Ainge and saw the Cougars win a share of the Mountain West Conference Championship by beating Colorado State 67-55 Saturday night. "I have a great appreciation for where we started, and tonight to see the arena full was a great thrill." said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "To share this in front of an entire community was something very special for me." Ainge's jersey, number 22, was retired and now hangs from the rafters in Provo. BYU also paid tribute to lone senior Travis Hansen in his last home game as a Cougar. Hansen was the first player to cut a loop from the net, which came down after the game in celebration of the school's 26th conference championship. No player in BYU history helped the Cougars to a better home record over a three-year period than Travis Hansen. In the last three seasons the Cougars have posted a 44-1 mark. The next best three-year home record was 39-2 during the final three seasons of Ainge's BYU career from 1979-81. In the first half, BYU used a 17-2 run during an eight-minute stretch to build the lead to 14 points at 26-12. The Rams held the lead momentarily at 10-9 thanks to a bucket by Ronnie Clark with just under 15 minutes to play in the first half before the Cougars' run. In the second half, BYU controlled the boards, pounded the ball inside, and held CSU to 34.6 percent shooting to pull ahead. It is the first time this year the Rams were held below 40 percent shooting. "Right now BYU is playing better basketball than anyone in the league," said CSU head coach Dale Layer. Brian Greene led the Rams with 18 points and eight rebounds while Matt Nelson added 17. Ram sharp-shooter Andy Birley, who connected on six three-pointers in Fort Collins, was held to just one trey and only three points. The Cougars spread the ball around effectively with four players scoring in double figures. Mark Bigelow led all scorers with 20 points followed by Hansen with 15. Rafael Araujo scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Kevin Woodberry chipped in 10.
BYU received votes in the latest polls released on March 16. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, BYU was 30th with 16 points. In the Associated Press Poll, BYU was 39th with 6 points.
BYU RATES HIGH IN RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS
As a league, the Mountain West Conference had the sixth-best RPI rating in the nation 98th in Sagarin). BYU had been the top-rated MWC team throughout much of the year in the Sagarin and RPI and entered the NCAA Tournament as the league's second-rated RPI team and top team in Sagarin. As of March 26th in RPI computed by CBS.Sportsline.com, BYU had a No. 25 rating while Utah was No. 18. In the RPI compiled by Collegiate Basketball News, BYU was 24th and Utah was No. 19. BYU was rated 32nd in the Sagarin Ratings with Utah at 39.
STATISTICS SHOW STRENGTH
BYU's strong play and conference championship was reflected in the MWC statistics. BYU finished the regular season in the top three in 17 of 19 statistical categories in league play. BYU led in five statistical categories, was the second-rated team in six and finished third in six more. The lone two categories BYU was not in the top three were FG percentage (5th) and blocks (7th).
COUGARS PLAYED AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST SCHEDULES
BYU achieved a 23-9 record playing among the toughest rated schedules in the nation. BYU's schedule was rated 26th most difficult by CBS.Sportsline.com. It was rated the 49th toughest in the nation by Collegiate Basketball News RPI and No. 66 in the Sagarin Ratings. The schedule featured 19 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year. Seven teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title last year. BYU played teams from 11 different conferences, excluding the MWC -- Big East, Pac-10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic.
BYU was 21-2 this year when holding opponents below 70 points but 2-7 when the opposition reaches the 70-point mark. In the five-plus season Steve Cleveland has been BYU's coach, the Cougars are 88-17 (.838) when holding opponents below 70 points. BYU's winning percentage drops off substantially when BYU opponents have scored between 70-79 points. BYU's record is 17-35 (.327) in those games during the Cleveland era.
BYU had a five-game winning streak ended with its MWC Tournament semifinal loss to Colorado State in overtime Friday. It's the longest winning streak of the year, along with the five straight victories it recorded to open this season, the longest overall streak since winning eight straight games during the preseason of 2001-02. BYU finished the year losing its last two games. BYU lost back-to-back games only twice during the year ( vs. CSU and vs. UConn and vs. Oklahoma State and at Weber State).The Cougars have won 34 straight home games over a non-conference opponents. BYU had its nation-leading 44-game home victory streak come to an end vs. Utah. BYU has made a three-point shot in 210 consecutive games since going 0-9 in a 75-67 loss to CS Fullerton on Nov. 22, 1996.
SHOOTING, REBOUNDING SUCCESS
BYU outshot 23 of 32 opponents (except USF, OSU, Weber State, Utah (twice), CSU (twice), UNLV, UConn). BYU outrebounded 21 opponents and tied one (UConn). BYU shot 45 percent or better in 22 games (losing only once twice at Creighton and vs. Utah). BYU shot a season-low 31.3 percent in its 5-point NCAA loss to UConn. BYU shot 55.9 percent at AFA, the sixth time, and and second time on the road, that BYU shot better than 50 percent. BYU shot a season-high 58.3 percent vs. Idaho State. BYU outboarded Idaho State 43-19, Air Force 55-21 and UNLV 47-31.
FROM THE LINE
BYU topped 80 percent free throw shooting 11 times, including .846 (11-13) vs. UConn in the NCAA Tournament. BYU shot a season-high .929 (26-28) to top 90 percent shooting for the second time at New Mexico (also at CSU, 19-21, .905). The Cougars shot better than 70 percent in all but six games, with all but one of those six games being at home (.550 vs. San Diego; .652 vs. AFA; .654 vs. Pepperdine; .657 at USF; .667 vs. Idaho State; and .692 vs. SDSU). Seven Cougars shot 72 percent or better from the line, with four topping 80 percent. John Allen made his first 19 straight until missing his last attempt vs. Utah (19-20) to shoot a team-leading 95 percent from the line. Ricky Bower shot 87.5 percent while Mark Bigelow was the MWC leader in league games at .933 (42-45). Bigelow had strings of 19 straight makes and 18 straight makes during the year. BYU was the top MWC free throw shooting team at .755.
FROM LONG RANGE
Three Cougars made 40 percent or better on their three-point attempts. BYU was ranked 16th in the nation as a team in the NCAA statistics released March 10 but struggled on threes in to end the year, including a season-low 11.8 percent vs. UConn in the NCAA Tournament. BYU was 13-1 when shooting 40 percent or better from three-point range. The lone defeat was at Creighton, where BYU shot 41.2 percent. BYU shot 50 percent or better in 10 games, topping 60 percent once in the season-opening win vs. Toledo (8-13, .615).
BYU held 20 opponents to 42 percent or lower shooting, and held seven opponents below 35 percent shooting, including UConn in the NCAA Tournament (.327). BYU held Air Force to 21.6 percent in Provo, including 15.2 percent on threes. The Falcons came in ranked 8th in the nation in three-point shooting. BYU held the Falcons to .389 shooting, .200 on threes, in Clune Arena. BYU was the only team to hold Colorado State below 40 percent shooting. The top shooting team in the nation, CSU managed just .383 shooting, .214 on threes, in the Marriott Center. BYU held Pepperdine, coming in shooting 47.1 percent, to its second-lowest percentage of the year at 34.5 percent. BYU held UCSB, a team that came in after seven games shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent on threes, to 36.5 percent and 26.1 percent on threes. BYU held 15 opponents to 60 points or less. BYU is 54-4 under Steve Cleveland when holding opponents below 60 points. BYU held the high-scoring UConn Huskies to 58 points (22 below its season average) in the NCAA Tournament. BYU held Air Force to only 33 points in Provo, the lowest output vs. BYU since the Cougars beat Princeton 51-32 on Dec. 31, 1982. BYU held the Falcons to a Marriott Center record 10 points in the first half. The Falcons scored just 43 points at Clune Arena. BYU lost at UNLV because of its offensive struggles but the Cougars played well defensively, holding the MWC's top scoring team to 61 points on its own court on 40 percent shooting, including 25 percent on threes. On the year, BYU's defense yielded a combined 63.5 points per game.
COMBO GUARD MICHAEL ROSE SIGNS WITH COUGARS
During the early signing period in November, BYU signed Michael Rose, a 6-foot-1 combo guard out of Spring Woods High School in Houston Texas. A four-year starter, Rose averaged 16.3 points, five rebounds and three assists playing shooting guard as a junior. A preseason All Greater Houston First Team selection, Rose is playing point guard his senior season. He earned first-team All-District 21 5A honors the past two seasons and was the team MVP in 2002. He helped his team to second-place District 21 finishes the past two years. In is first season, he was named District 21 Freshman of the Year. Rose has played four years on the Houston Hoops summer AAU team that also features top-five recruits Ndidi Eby and Kendrick Perkins. As the team's starting shooting guard, Rose averaged 14 points and helped the team earn a No. 1 national rating for much of the summer. Rose possesses a strong academic resume, ranking second in his class of 365 seniors. He was recruited by Houston, St. Louis, Utah State, Colorado State, Texas Christian, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Illinois. He is the nephew of BYU Associate Head Coach Dave Rose.
CLEVELAND, BYU PLAYERS RECEIVE MWC POSTSEASON HONORS
The Mountain West Conference announced its 2002-03 men's basketball awards Monday. The league's eight men's head coaches along with a selected media panel picked the all-conference teams, coach, player, freshman and defensive awards. BYU's head coach Steve Cleveland captured Coach of the Year honors, while Ruben Douglas of New Mexico was selected the Player of the Year. Freshman of the Year honors went to Evan Burns of San Diego State, while UNLV's Marcus Banks and BYU's Travis Hansen were named co-Defensive Players of the Year. Four of Cleveland's BYU players joined him in being honored by the MWC media and coaches. BYU's lone senior Hansen was selected to the All-MWC First Team, while juniors Mark Bigelow and Rafael Araujo were voted to the All-MWC Third Team and sophomore Jared Jensen receiving honorable mention.
BIGELOW, HANSEN MOVED UP BYU SCORING CHARTS
Mark Bigelow became the 34th Cougar and only ninth junior to reach 1,000 career points vs. Southern Utah. Despite an injury-shortened first season as a sophomore, Travis Hansen became BYU's 35th 1,000-point scorer with his first bucket at Utah. Hansen finished his careeer 24th on the scoring list. Bigelow is 15th on the list entering his senior season.
BIGELOW SETS CAREER THREE-POINT RECORD AT SAN DIEGO STATE
Junior swingman Mark Bigelow equaled his career-best 5 triples in a game at San Diego State to surpass BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson (141) as BYU's career three-point leader. Bigelow now has 171 treys. Bigelow leads BYU with 62 threes this year (BYU record is 74 by Toolson) while shooting a career-best 44.2 percent from long range. Last year his 65 threes was the fifth-best single season total on the BYU record books.
HANSEN MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS ON MARCH 10
Senior guard Travis Hansen was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week on March10 after leading BYU to three wins to earn a share of the regular season title with an 11-3 record. He scored a team-leading 21.3 points per game while adding 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. It is the second time he has won the award during his career. On Monday, he scored a team-high 26 points at New Mexico while going a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line. He added four boards, two steals and one assists. In a battle with third-place Wyoming, he put BYU in position to win the MWC title by scoring a game-high 23 points while adding 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal. He tied his career high by making three treys against the Cowboys. Hansen scored 15 points Saturday against Colorado State to help the Cougars earn their second share of a conference title in the last three years. During the week, he also excelled at the defensive end. He forced the nation's leading scorer Ruben Douglas to take a lot of tough shots as he shot 7-for-22 from the floor, including 1-of-7 on threes. He held Wyoming's leading scorer Donta Richardson to 9 points on 3-of-8 shooting. Richardson came in averaging 18.2 ppg. He made a spectatular block against the Cowboys, coming from behind the play to pin a would-be Wyoming layup off a fastbreak between the rim and backboard. He and his teammates became the first team to hold Colorado State below 40 percent shooting this season. Hansen leads BYU in scoring, assists and blocks and is second in rebounds.
ARAUJO NAMED MOUNTAIN WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON DEC. 30
BYU junior center Rafael Araujo was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week on Dec. 30. It was Araujo's first player of the week honor of his career. Araujo, from Sao Paulo, Brazil (Arizona Western), averaged 20.5 points and 12 rebounds and shot 61.3 percent (19-of-31) from the field and averaged two steals per game. In the 84-72 loss at San Francisco, Araujo recorded his first Division I double-double with career-highs of 24 points and 17 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. He went 11-for-20 from the field (55 percent) and registered a career-high three steals. The 17 boards and 11field goals are both currently tied for the second-highest output by an MWC player this year. Araujo led the Cougars in scoring for the second straight game with 17 points on 8-of-11 field goals and seven boards in the 93-60 win over Southern Utah.
COUGARS HOLD FALCONS TO RECORD-LOW 10 POINT HALF IN PROVO
BYU held Air Force to a Marriott Center record 10 points in the first half on Feb. 3, 2003. It is the lowest total scored in any half at the Marriott Center. It also tied an Air Force school record for fewest points in a half.
BYU SETS SCHOOL THREE-POINT RECORD IN WIN OVER SUU
BYU set a new school record for three-pointers made in a game, going 14-24 (.583) vs. Southern Utah's match-up zone. Seven Cougars made a trey with six players' only field goals being triples.
COUGARS, LOBOS SET MARRIOTT CENTER THREE-POINT RECORD
BYU and New Mexico combined on Feb. 1 to set a new Marriott Center record with 23 treys made in a game, topping the 22 treys of LaSalle and BYU in 1992. The Cougars made 11 triples while UNM made 12 to set the new Marriott Center mark.
COUGARS WIN PARADISE JAM TITLE
BYU started the season by winning the University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam title. Played in St.Thomas, the Paradise Jam featured six teams in a three-game format. BYU earned the title with wins over Toledo, Kansas State and St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies finished the second-year tournament 2-1 with a win over Virginia Tech, who also finished 2-1. Kansas State and Toledo went 1-2 and Michigan 0-3.
HANSEN, BIGELOW EARN PARADISE JAM AWARDS
Leading BYU to the University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam title, Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow were named to the Paradise Jam All Tournament Team. Others selected to the team were Pervis Pasco of Kansas State, Nick Moore of Toledo, Terry Taylor of Virginia Tech and tournament MVP Marques Green of St. Bonaventure.
RECORD JAM DEFENSE
BYU set the Paradise Jam tournament record for fewest average points allowed by giving up only 59 points per game in its three tournament wins. The previous record was LaSalle's 62.7 points allowed over three tournament games last year. In the championship game, BYU held St. Bonaventure, who came into the title showdown having scored 91 and 89 points in its first two games, to 57 points and 28 percent shooting. BYU held Toledo to 34.6 percent shooting and 56 points and allowed only 40.4 percent shooting and 64 points by Kansas State. Combined, BYU's Paradise Jam opponents shot 33.9 percent from the floor, including 31.8 percent on threes.
PICKED FOURTH, BYU FINISHED TIED FOR MWC CROWN
Picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference by the league's media members, BYU earned a share of the regular season title for the second time in the last three years. BYU has a won 58.7 percent (430-303) of its games all-time vs. MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU dominated the Mountain West in its first three seasons, winning 63 percent of all MWC titles.
BYU ON THE ROAD
BYU was 6-5 on the road this year, including a 5-2 MWC conference road record. Counting neutral court games, BYU was 10-8 away from the Marriott Center in 2002-03.
NEUTRAL COURT RECORD
BYU is 13-10 on a neutral court under Steve Cleveland, including a 4-3 mark in 2002-03. BYU earned three wins at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to claim the Jam Title. Its three losses were to UConn in the NCAA Tournament, Colorado State in the MWC Tournament semifinals and to Oklahoma State at the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City. The Cougars have won eight of their last 13 neutral court contests.
CLEVELAND'S CONFERENCE RECORD
BYU coach Steve Cleveland has a 45-39 conference record (WAC/MWC). In MWC games only, Cleveland is 32-21 (.604).
BYU SWEEPS SECOND MWC ROAD TRIP OF THE SEASON
After defeating Air Force Saturday, BYU defeated UNM to sweep the AFA-UNM road trip for the first time since 2001 when the Cougars finished with two wins on the road swing to claim a share of the conference title. BYU didn't play at SDSU (win) and UNLV (loss) in the traditional single-trip this season. With its wins over Wyoming and Colorado State, BYU swept the Front Range road trip for the first time since the 1992-93 season when BYU won 70-63 at CSU and then 77-64 at Wyoming. BYU finished the 1992-93 season with a 25-9 record, tied for the WAC title and advanced to the NCAA tournament, going 1-1 with a win over SMU before a loss to Kansas. This year was also the first time since the 1992-93 Front Range sweep that BYU even won the first of the two games on the trip. Wyoming had won five straight times over BYU in Laramie and CSU had won six straight games over the Cougars in Moby Arena prior to this season. BYU's last victory in Laramie was in 1996 and its last in Fort Collins was in 1994.
BYU PLAYED MAJORITY OF NON-CONFERENCE GAMES AWAY FROM HOME
BYU played eight games away from home and seven in the Marriott Center during the non-conference schedule, earning an 11-4 overall record with a perfect 7-0 home mark and a 4-4 record away from Provo. Wyoming was the only Mountain West team to play as many road games during the preseason as BYU. The Cowboys were also the only MWC team to win more non-league games away from home, going 5-3. The Cougars earned their 4-4 record playing the toughest non-league schedule of any MWC team. Air Force played seven road games, going 3-4; Utah played six, going 3-3; SDSU, UNLV and CSU all played half as many road games as BYU, earning 3-1, 3-1 and 0-4 records, respectively. New Mexico played the fewest road games, going winless in three games away from The Pit.
BYU COMPLETED 101ST YEAR OF BASKETBALL
Celebrating 100 years of basketball in 2002-03, BYU completed its 101st season. Since the first season of BYU basketball in 1903, BYU has achieved a 1450-931 (.609) overall record with 21 different coaches at the helm. The combined efforts of these men have provided the Cougars with 81 winning seasons in 101 years. BYU has won 26 conference titles and has made 29 postseason tournament appearances with 20 NCAA bids and nine NIT berths. The Cougars won the 1951 and 1966 NIT titles and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1981, highlighted by Danny Ainge's length-of-the-court dash to defeat Notre Dame at the buzzer. Ainge was named the nation's top player as the John Wooden Award and Eastman Award winner. Twenty-three players have received All-America recognition while NBA teams have selected a Cougar 41 times in its annual draft. BYU has the nation's 11th longest rivalry, dating back to 1909, against the University of Utah. BYU and Utah have the 10th longest rivalry in terms of games played with 233 contests. Utah leads the series for only the third time with its win this year, holding a two-game edge for the first time at 118-116. For more information on BYU's 100-year history, please consult the 2002-03 BYU media guide.
BYU AMONG TOP-40 All-TIME WINNINGEST BASKETBALL PROGRAMS
With its all-time record of 1450-931 (.609), BYU is the ranked 40th all-time in winning percentage among all Division I basketball programs. In terms of total wins, BYU is in the top 25. The Cougars have had 81 winning seasons in their 101 years of basketball and have made 29 postseason appearances, including 20 NCAA bids, and won 26 conference championships.